The Dreamer From The Northern Lights
Written by Caroline Montgomery
The Harriman Institute of Columbia hosted the exhibition opening of The Dreamer from the Northern Lights by Andrey Bartenev on Thursday evening. The exhibition featured photographs depicting Bartenev’s performance artwork and was curated by Natasha Sharymova and Alexander Khromov. Correspondent and art aficionado Caroline Montgomery was there, taking it all in, and bringing the best back to you.
Andrey Bartenev (named the Freak of the Year in 2007, by Russian GQ) is a performance artist and a sculptor, not a fashion designer although he is often mistaken as one. In 1969, he was born in Norilsk, Russia and is now working and living in Moscow. In an interview with Huf Magazine, Andrey Bartenev describes his work as an exploration of people and space and the beauty and power of nature to create positive emotion. His work has been featured at many world renowned venues, such as Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Art Basel-Miami Beach International Art Fair, the Vita Design Museum in Boisbuchet, France, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, among a great deal of others.
In stark contrast with the media that is being reported from Russia at the moment, Bartenev’s work is incredibly warm and colorful. Upon entering the studio space at the Harriman Institute, a woman in one of Bartenev’s bright orange “Bubbles of Hope” suits greats you. “Bubbles of Hope,” which was a performance art piece featuring people in colorful bubbles suits romping through urban settings, premiered at the Dumbo Art Festival in 2013. Bartenev stands next to the photographs of his art work (in a morphsuit with cats on it and a hat that appears to the the head of a Chinese dragon) grinning. Within the first few moments of being in the room, it is exceedingly clear Bartenev fully believes in what his art stands for, something he describes as, “a collective meditative act, which can strengthen our own abilities to dream, to hope and to fulfill our own personal goals” (Unicycleproductions). Circulating the tightly packed room, the breath of Bartenev’s shines. As futurism collage is his favorite genre of art to employ, he, like many other artists, has surely broken the boundaries that Umberto Boccioni set in 1909 as one of the initial key player of the movement. The appropriately oversaturated photographs show Bartenev’s interpretation of synesthesia and kinesthesia: the experience of simultaneity, temporality, and bodily movement. Some of the works included in the exhibition are, “Black Caviar Road” and “Eight-legged Dog for High-Speed Transportation.”
The Dreamer from the Northern Lights will be on exhibition until March 13th. If you find yourself needing a cultural pick-me-up, head over to the 12th floor at 420 118th street to experience Russian futurism at its finest.
The Harriman Institute of Columbia University will also be hosting a talk with Andrey Bartenev on Monday February 2, at 6:30 pm in the Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room . The talk is titled, “Performance Art–The Testing Ground for Emotional Revitalization.”
Botanical Garden and opening night images via Facebook
Bubbles of Hope via Unicycle production